19:17 / 04.05.2022.

Author: Katja Miličić

Bosnia and Herzegovina to hold general election in October

File image

File image

Foto: Marijan Susenj / PIXSELL

Bosnia and Herzegovina will hold a general election on October 2, the country's Central Electoral Commission announced on Wednesday. 

The election already faces a number of problems. Firstly, the central government has yet to secure the funding needed for the elections because it has not adopted a 2022 budget, within which the money would be earmarked. The election commission said the funding needed to be secured within two weeks.

Furthermore, political leaders in the Federation, where Croats are the minority and Bosniaks hold the majority, have failed to agree on electoral reforms. Croat representative Vlado Rogić was the only person on the seven-member election commission to vote against calling the election, arguing that there were no legal provisions or conditions at the moment to hold a free and democratic election in line with the Constitution.

"Don't think that I am opposed to the right to vote for citizens and constituent peoples. This is a democratic and earned right and it should be exercised but first, it must be guaranteed," Rogić said.

Croats oppose the current rules under which the last two elections were held. They argue that the more populous Bosniaks are able to outvote them and elect candidates who are meant to serve as Croat representatives in the Presidency and the parliament's House of Peoples. Croat leaders have sought to introduce new ethnically-based electoral districts that would ensure voters could only cast ballots for their own community's representatives at all levels of government. However, they have been unable to strike a deal with the Bosniak side.

Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman criticized the election decision on Wednesday, arguing that the election commission could not interpret “non-existent provisions of the Election Law”.

Speaking in Mostar, the minister said that his visit was meant to show that the Croat side was still determined and firm. He said Croatia would protect the Croat community from attempts to disenfranchise and destabilize Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

"The election commission cannot exercise the prerogatives of the drafters of the Constitution and lawmakers. It also cannot be the administrative body that fills the voids that the Constitutional Court struck down as unconstitutional,” he said.

The President of the Croat National Assembly, Dragan Cović, called the election decision a direct threat to the country's peace and stability, especially given the announcement by Bosniak parties that they will oust Croats from power after the elections.

President Zoran Milanović also reacted to the decision. He has sent a letter to Prime Minister Andrej Plenković proposing a meeting of the National Security Council over the election issue, citing the possibility that Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina will not be able to elect legitimate representatives in government.

Vijesti HRT-a pratite na svojim pametnim telefonima i tabletima putem aplikacija za iOS i Android. Pratite nas i na društvenim mrežama Facebook, Twitter, Instagram i YouTube!